[one_half last="no"]Supermodel and fashion icon Naomi Campbell dazzled down the runway of Diane von Furstenberg as the grand finale to close a successful New York Fashion Week. Although Campbell has had a profound career in the fashion industry over the past 25 years, she now speaks up for models of color who have not been given the opportunity to express their talents on the runway of fashion week around the world. Now, in collaboration with beauty icon Iman and [/one_half] [one_half last="yes"]former model-turned-advocate Bethann Hardison have formed a group called “Diversity Coalition” to speak up about high fashion designers such as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Armani and others for using just “one or no models of color” in their fall shows that featured numerous models. Iman expressed an obligation to speak out about the lack of diversity on the runways of fashion week around the world and that: “Somebody has got to do it. And change does not happen easily.”[/one_half]
“The statistics, it’s really shocking,” Campbell said. “Heartbreaking. Your body and beauty, it doesn’t matter what color you are. If you’ve got the right talent, you should be there having the opportunity to do the job.”
The website Jezebel calculated 82.7 percent of the Fall/Winter 2013 season of New York Fashion Week models were white, 9.1 percent were Asian, 6 percent were black and 2 percent Latina. Iman stated that “this is not the business of shaming” as she clarified that “nobody is calling any of these designers racist. The act itself is racism.”
Both Naomi Campbell and Iman explained their disapproval of how the fashion industry has not changed since their rise to fame in the 1930’s and how there were more black female models working then than in 2013. But Campbell praised Diane von Furstenberg and other designers for taking the initiative and approaching the issue of diversity. Iman stated that Tom Ford casts all of his models instead of leaving the task to casting directors because “he sees the beauty in diversity.”
ABC News has reached out to many of the designers that took part in New York Fashion Week, but none have yet to respond to the request to comment.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America sent two emails to the listed designers of New York Fashion Week stating, “the most powerful message is one of diversity,” it told ABC News. “As a creative visionary, people do have very specific, artistic notions of how they want all their creations to be presented,” said Emma Rosenblum, the Etc. section editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, but Campbell’s not buying it, saying, “I think they hide behind aesthetics.”
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